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Baked Pimento Bacon Mac & Cheese

Baked Pimento Bacon Mac & Cheese

By Traeger Kitchen

Throw some flavor into your mac and cheese routine. We’re adding a Southern staple, pimentos, and combining them with bacon for a sweet and smoky kick.

Prep Time

15 Min

Cook Time

50 Min




This recipe serves:


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Units of Measurement:
To Taste kosher salt
4 Tablespoon (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 Medium yellow onion, finely diced
1/4 Cup plus 1 tablespoon diced pimento peppers
2 Clove garlic, minced
5 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Cup heavy cream
1 1/2 Cup whole milk
3 Sprig fresh thyme
1 Sprig fresh rosemary
2 dried bay leaves
1 Tablespoon Whole black peppercorns
1 Pound Dried elbow macaroni
1 Pound shredded Gruyère cheese
1 Cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tablespoon (1/2 stick) melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 Cup cooked bacon, crumbled
1 Teaspoon Chopped fresh parsley


  • 1

    When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 350℉ and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

    350 ˚F / 177 ˚C

  • 2

    Melt the butter in a medium stock pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the onion and peppers and sauté until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds more.

  • 3

    Add the flour and stir well with a wooden spoon to coat the vegetables. Cook the roux until it smells slightly nutty, about 1 minute. While whisking, stream in the cream and milk and continue to whisk until any flour clumps are worked out.

  • 4

    Wrap the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and black peppercorns in cheesecloth and tie up with twine. Drop into the cream mixture and simmer until the liquid thickens, 15-20 minutes. Remove the cheesecloth bundle and discard.

  • 5

    Meanwhile, add the elbow noodles to the boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes until al dente. Drain the pasta, then return it to the pot.

  • 6

    Remove the cheese sauce from the heat and whisk in the Gruyère until melted. Season with salt to taste.

  • 7

    Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and stir to coat thoroughly, then transfer to a large cast iron pan.

  • 8

    In a medium bowl, combine the panko, Parmesan cheese, melted butter, and paprika and stir well. Sprinkle the mixture over the mac and cheese.

  • 9

    Place the cast iron skillet on the grill grates. Close the lid and bake until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top is lightly browned, 15-20 minutes.

    350 ˚F / 177 ˚C


  • 10

    Remove the mac and cheese from the grill, top with the bacon and parsley, and serve. Enjoy!

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